For monthly quality updates, the process doesn't change much. For the
semi-annual feature updates, we have some recommendations at
http://aka.ms/waas. The "every six month" schedule just makes the
process more predictable from a schedule perspective.
Except, as an education institution, "every six months" does not map to our academic schedule. We have very specific, fixed breaks during which we can do mass upgrades like this. So we must defer Microsoft releases to those break periods. And sometimes they don't match up very well. For example, when version 1511 loses support October/November 2017, our break is not until Thanksgiving at the end of November. So we appreciate the reliability of some announced schedule from Microsoft, but it's not, and cannot be, "our" schedule.